My study area is strewn with papers and books, notes and hand outs. You can’t really see the floor right now. It’s all too much! For a while now I’ve been thinking about having some form of structure to my filing so I actually know where everything is. This should be fairly obvious but once again I find myself wondering how I coped when I was a student first time round.
At the last residential workshop I booked a session with the learning support dudes but I wasn’t really sure what they could do. I don’t know if there are any techniques around filing and cross referencing but I’m guessing having a few alphabetised cards with some scribblings on isn’t much help. The learning support session was actually really useful coaching. They’re not experts in dyslexia but getting a chance to talk all this through was very helpful.
Over the last few months I’ve been getting used to some mind-mapping software. I’ve never really used it as a technique before but the software makes it easy and so my entire course is mapped out using it. I decided that adding a file structure would really help. So now I have a place where I record what books, documents, websites etc are useful for different topics. I tend to keep it open when I’m studying so that I can update it as I’m going along. I then add notes detailing where each book etc can be found physically… all of which means I should tidy my floor.
Below is the rough first draft without any of the actual source material in it. In a few days it’s going to be too massive to show in a blog post so here it is in simplified form in case anyone finds it useful. As always it’s about finding a style that suits you as a learner. You could just as easily divide things up into types of source material or location. I think this works for me so I’m going for it!
Next time I need to write something on neoliberalism, for example, I should be able to focus on that branch of the mind map and see what books, articles etc are useful and go straight to them.